Southwest Airlines engine explosion leaves one dead, seven injured

Marty Martinez captured photos and video during Southwest Airlines flight 1380s emergency landing.

Marty Martinez

Marty Martinez captured photos and video during Southwest Airlines flight 1380’s emergency landing.

Landon DeBoer, Staff Writer

Early Tuesday morning, a Southwest Airlines plane traveling from New York to Dallas, made an emergency landing at the Philadelphia International Airport. The plane, a two-engine Boeing 737, had an engine explosion that resulted in the shattering of a window and partially sucking a woman outside of the plane.

While the woman was partially sucked outside of the plane, she was hit by shrapnel from the engine explosion. The incident resulted in the death of the woman and the injury of seven other passengers. The explosion occurred about 20 minutes into the flight and resulted in a desperate effort from the passengers and crew to save the woman’s life. The woman, identified as Jennifer Riordan, a Wells Fargo executive from Albuquerque, was taken to a nearby hospital where she was pronounced dead.

This is the first incident in which a passenger on a U.S. airline has died since 2009. Many passengers aboard the Southwest Airlines flights were afraid for their safety after they heard the explosion and began to text and call their loved ones.

“I think, like most passengers, I thought I was going to die,” said Matt Tranchin, a 34-year-old passenger on the flight. “It’s a wild experience. It’s not a couple minutes of freaking out and frantically saying goodbye; it’s 25 minutes of sustained fear that this was the end. What do you say to your pregnant wife and your parents in your final moments? That’s what I was trying to figure out.”